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American Gladiators


Published 1992


American Gladiators is a video game made in 1991 by for the Amiga, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super NES and Nintendo Entertainment System. It is based on the popular TV game show, American Gladiators.

The NES version varied greatly from the others as well as the game show itself in that the events were morphed into side-scrolling and overhead mini-levels that only partially resembled the real-life events.

Each joust event involved four different gladiator battles atop platforms which needed to be won, with a series of joust platforms to be jumped across in between battles.

Human Cannonball also required four gladiators to be beaten with perfectly-timed leaps off the rope while the gladiator's platform elevated up and down, making the task that much more difficult. In this event and the Joust, Gladiators screamed gratuitously (and often humorously) as they were knocked off the platforms.

The Wall featured numerous screenfulls of handholds and footholds with various obstacles, walls, floors and occasional treacherous stretches featuring empty spaces with very few handholds to navigate in order to advance. The gladiators were plentiful and attacked at different points in the wall level. They also moved twice as fast as the character. The wall was a particularly tough event due to its difficult controls that involved repeated rhythmic tapping of the a and b buttons with the directional pad to simulate the movement of the left and right hands to different handholds.

Assault featured a battle with a gladiator in a moving target at the top of the screen (unlike the stationary gladiator in the television series) which took between three and six successful hits to subdue, while the player's character could absorb three before being defeated.

The most accurate representation of any event in the game was Powerball, an event in which a player could not lose a 'life' as he or she could in any other event, but only gain a 1UP if the player evaded the three gladiators and scored a ball in each of the five baskets. (Players could also earn 2 more extra lives if they could accomplish the task again in the same time limit, which decreased between levels.)

The eliminator consisted of I-beams, in which a player jumped from one shotgun-like platform to the next, with different platforms varying greatly in height and length. Medicine balls were constantly arcing up from the bottom of the screen towards the player, attempting to knock the contender back and possibly off the I-beams to the ground below, thus ending the player's run. The player then jumped to a handbike which he or she had to navigate back and forth around more medicine balls thrown through the air. This continued after the first handbike as the player then was made to run and jump across many straight and acutely angled conveyor belts while the medicine balls continued to stream down. This made being hit that much more difficult to recover from because the direction of the conveyor belts often added to the force of being hit with a medicine ball. After navigating a second handbike, the medicine balls cease and the player drops onto a zip line moving down and across the screen to the right. This zip line crosses a second zip line going in the opposite angle in which the player must perfectly time his release to land on the following line. This trend continues for several more successive lines, each moving faster than the previous until the player finally lands on a platform after grabbing the 9th zip line, signifying victory.

By the time American Gladiators was released for the SNES, the developers had changed the game to a more faithful copy of the television series. The game offered a two-player mode that alternated between simultaneous and alternating play based on the event. There was also a tournament mode where up to 16 players (8 male and 8 females), could face off, with any missing slots filled in by computer players.


Identifier sg_American_Gladiators_1992_GameTek_Imagitec_Design_US
Mediatype software
Scanner Internet Archive Python library 0.5.2
Publicdate 2014-05-06 02:59:40
Addeddate 2014-05-06 02:59:40
Emulator_ext bin
Emulator genesis
Creator GameTek/Imagitec Design
Date 1992
Year 1992
Language English


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